"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Free Use of the Word 'Heretic' Is Unhelpful

I have never met Cheryl Schatz, but I have read some of the articles she has written and have listened to her teach a couple of times on tape. She is an advocate for women to be free to minister according to the gifts God has given them, and though I may not agree with everything Cheryl says or writes, I do admire her love for Christ and desire to understand the infallible Word of God. Yesterday Cheryl emailed me with a link to a radio interview she did with a pastor named Matt Slick. Pastor Slick has a radio show called 'Faith and Reason' and he interviewed Cheryl on the question of whether or not a woman is able to teach the Bible to men. You can listen to the full radio interview here.

(1). Pastor Matt begins the radio show with remarks that sound to me very patronizing toward Cheryl. I realize that my opinion is subjective, but patronization is not hard to identify. It's a little like stepping in manure; you smell it for what it is.
(2). Pastor Matt at times comes across as rude. Though he is to be commended for frequently acknowledging his desire not to be rude, it's better to actually not be rude than to simply express the desire to not be rude - particularly to a woman you invited on your show.
(3). Pastor Matt, toward the end of Cheryl's patient explanation of her interpretation of the I Timothy 2:11-15 text, interrupts Cheryl to declare her a 'heretic.' He then tells Cheryl she should obey Scripture and be and 'quiet and in full submission.'

Don't believe it? At the 54 minute 20 second spot of the interview, the following exchange occurred between Pastor Matt and Cheryl.

Cheryl: "Is it a sin for you Pastor Matt to listen to me teach?"
Pastor Matt: "I listen to heretics all the time teach. That's what I do for a living so that I can refute it."
Cheryl: "So I am a heretic?"
Pastor Matt: "(In this) Yes you are."


I about fell out of my chair when I heard that exchange. Cheryl has already told the radio audience that she believes "every single word of the Bible is inspired by God." Cheryl further expressed her firm belief that "The grammar (of the Bible)is inspired."

Yet, Cheryl is called a 'heretic' simply because she disagrees with Matt over the interpretation of a text of Scripture. There is no dispute over the nature of Scripture, only the interpretation of it.

You can read Cheryl's full exegesis and explanation of the I Timothy 2:11-15 text for yourself.

My desire is not to affirm or deny Cheryl's exegesis. She is entitled to her interpretation. Anyone who listens to the patient explanation of her beliefs, or reads her well thought out interpretation of the sacred text, will come away with a sense of her deep appreciation for the inspired, inerrant Word of God. I do admire her tenacity and patience in the face of syrupy patronization. She has much she could teach Pastor Matt on this subject. :)

My desire in this post is to call attention to the ease with which some evangelical Christians want to attach the label 'heretic' to other conservative, evangelical Christians - just because there is a difference of interpretation at certain points of Scripture. I think it is time that the word heretic be reserved for those who are Christian in name, but 'deny' the Person or work of Christ. It should NEVER be used against those who simply interpret the Bible differently than we do. Too many evangelicals - including some Southern Baptists - are so much into heresy hunting that they have contributed to the tearing down of our fellow evangelicals.

I have seen the enemy, and it isn't us.

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

122 comments:

jasonk said...

The definition of heretic has become "anyone who believes differently than I do."

It may be the height of spiritual pride to label a person a heretic, simply because they disagree on an intepretation.

Wayne Smith said...

Wade,

IMHO Cheryl Schatz brings more Glory to God, Than Pastor Matt Slick.

In His Name

PS Check your e-mail.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I have long appreciated carm.org which is Slick's excellent apologetics website. But I have heard some thing on his radio program that bother me greatly.

After this I unfortunately will have to strongly consider removing his link from my website.

kerryn said...

Wade,

Thanks so much for posting this link. It's well worth a read of Cheryl's analysis and the debate is worth listening to with Matt (if one can cope with his regular arrogant comments and blatant rudeness towards her).

There are two things that stand out to me about how Cheryl has approached this difficult passage of scripture in 1 Tim 2:11-15.

1) Her exegesis is completely consistent - from Greek grammar to immediate and biblical context. I have read dozens of commentaries and journal papers and blog posts on this passage. The biggest challenge seems to me that most people have to do some 'backflips' or twists with the grammar or lexical meanings of words to make their interpretation ‘work’. Cheryl's proposal bends nothing out of shape – it doesn’t even require that a plural noun or pronoun be twisted into a singular or vice-versa.

2) Cheryl’s attitude in how she presents her case (on radio) and in her post on her site is truly Christ-like. Something I find far too rarely in the ‘women in ministry debate’ arena. I commend her for this and pray that many of us who can let the emotion of the topic rule our mouths (or fingers on computer keyboards) will take a leaf out of her book and be prepared to dialogue with our brothers and sisters in Christ with humility and open hearts.

How disappointing it is that a brother in Christ can call his sister in Christ a ‘heretic’ for these things!

Regards
Kerryn

Alycelee said...

What's really sad is many who read this post will not be shocked by what this pastor said, but agree with him completely.
This type of rhetoric could easily cause one to become discouraged with church in general.
Thankfully, then I am reminded of just who is the head of the church.
From my viewpoint, this comment clearly show the difference between religion and the kingdom.

Glen Woods said...

He seemed quite condescending in his interaction with her. One wonders why he felt so threatened that he should waver at the thought of having her on the show again. The feeling I got is that he felt she is more of a danger than atheists, which he admits to having on the show often. This is the first time I have heard him. Very disappointing.

Will said...

Let's hope that calling someone a heretic isn't the new "civil discourse".

I place the blame at Cheryl's feet...You see, if she had just stuffed Matt's face with up a bunch of Rice Krispy treats, Matt's 'heresy' comment would have sounded more like 'ministry'!

Good grief!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Using Bob Cleveland’s “Why argue over two recipes if they produce the same cake”, there is a simpler explanation of why Paul did not allow women to teach men, and that is Paul was NOT God.

Paul did not say this is a command of God; he said “I”. He backs up his statement in the next two verses with human reasoning.

How much credit would we give Paul if he had said ‘I don’t allow women to teach men because the cow jumped over the moon’?

Well, the two reasons he gives in 1 Timothy 2:13 and 14 makes about as much sense.
Verse 13 says God uses seniority. (duhh…) Verse 14 is the same reason Adam gave God that is was Eve’s fault why he had sinned.
If God didn’t agree with Adam, why would he change his mind and agree with Paul?

Cheryl has taught me a lot. To say that is a sin and she is a heretic is about like the ‘righteous’ drowning witches and all in the name of God.

Probably, some on this post will label me the same.

Anonymous said...

Wade,

It is becoming more and more difficult to stomach your articles. It seems that you are consistently playing "devil's advocate". By saying... "My desire is not to affirm or deny Cheryl's exegesis."... you are able to do just that... affirm and deny. Very sly!

And by the way... a heretic is not someone who does not believe the Bible is inspired. A heretic is someone who misinterprets the Bible and teaches error. Many heretics believe the Bible is isnpired, yet they reject its clear teachings.

It just seems like you are trying to build a large liberal "inerrant" evangelical tent, while at the same time denying that you personally believe any of it.

IMO... Joe W.

Wade Burleson said...

Joe,

Thanks for your comment. May we have your phone number so we can call you to see if our interpretations line up with your inspired, inerrant interpretations? We would hate to be teaching something which you don't approve.

:)

Wade

Scott Shaffer said...

Merriam Webster's definition of a heretic:

one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine

There are probably better definitions, but I think we are naive if we apply the label of heretic only to people who deny the inerrancy of scripture.

Steve said...

All I can say is to Praise the Lord that Bro. Slick and Sister Schatz were born long after "Christians" in governments were hanging folks and lopping off heads.

Laura said...

Really? We would call a brother or sister who struggles with the word "inerrant" but cannot go so far as to say that God's Word contains mistakes a heretic? That seems pretty shocking to me.

I guess my understanding of heresy goes beyond mere error (of which we are all guilty at one time or another, right?) to encompass only salvation-preventing error. For instance, paedo-baptism is an error, but I don't believe Ligon Duncan is a heretic for practicing it. I believe he's wrong, but not heretical.

This overuse of the word "heretic" is unhelpful, as you said, Wade; moreover, it clouds the issue at stake. Once a person begins to deny points of doctrine directly related to salvation (i.e., issues of the identity of Christ, the nature of sin, the atonement, etc.), he has crossed over into heresy.

Classical heresies were not merely quibbles (or even major disagreements) over points of application and interpretation, they were affirmations of salvation-preventing error, like "there was a time when he was not."

Marty Duren said...

Scott-
That definition is scarily generalized: Accepted by whom?

A church council? The local church? A district manager?

Surely the word heresy should be reserved for those teachings that are against the foundations of the Christian faith, not those areas of disagreement that are less than faith threatening.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Scott,
Words have definitions as noted. They also have connotations.

Def.
2. the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”

The connotation of "heretic" is often that someone's heretical belief places them outside the family of faith.

Gary Snowden said...

Wade,

Thanks for the good word about those who freely use the word "heretic" to reject any biblical interpretation to which they do not personally subscribe. I encountered a bit of that here in Missouri a couple of years back when the MBC adopted its single alignment bylaw--declaring that a Missouri Baptist church can only participate in the MBC if it does not send messengers or financial support via church action to a competing group within the state--specifically targeting CBF and the BGCM. Part of the justification for that stance appeared in a guest column of Pathway, written by James Freeman. He justifies the single alignment position with these words: "This in turn allows the churches of the Missouri Baptist Convention to avoid having their doctrinal positions compromised by the heretical actions of a corrupt few, in accord with the teachings set forth in 2 Cor. 7:1." You may read his complete article here.

Scott Shaffer said...

Marty & David,

This is exactly my point. We need to be careful how we define our terms.

Slick used the term as defined by Webster's. Most Christians I know are more judicious in their use of "heretic". I for one would not restrict it someone who denies inerrancy. That is silly.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Thanks for the clarification Scott. But are you sure that is how Slick used it? He did not clarify that at all in his broadcast.

Btw, I have commented on his blog and asked him to publicly retract his use of the word heretic.

The comment has not been posted (yet) due to commen moderation. If that is how Slick meant it, I think he should clarify that.

Anonymous said...

Therein lies the problem. She is not entitled to her "own" interpretation.The Bible writers had one thought in mind when writing the inspired text. There are many applications to each verse but only one interpretation. I wouldn't label her a heretic just because of her beliefs, but if she's entitled to that interpretation of the text, then I want to interpret texts in my "own" way making them conform to my beliefs. It won't work.

Jeff said...

The words Heresy and Heretic come from the Greek word Hairesis, which means a faction or sect, literally a choosing. The Pharisees were referred to as a sect or a hairesis. There is no negative connotation in the greek use of the word. The common modern usage though has become an ad hominem weapon. In the open and civil discourse of any group these types of name calling and labeling are typically counter-productive to the goal of coming to a common understanding of the truth. While many people with many varying and different backgrounds and opinions will seldom reach uniformity and unanimity, we can, by the spirit of Christ and good old fashioned Berean iron sharpening iron, come to a unity and a likemindedness. As a matter of fact we are commanded to be likeminded. Like minded does not mean we always agree. But it also does not mean we should be flippant with the use of such words like heretic. I fear that we use this word against brothers as a weapon and a tool of manipulation in order to try to make them agree with us. It is typical that the use of this word comes out after the one using the word has exhausted all logical cogent and even biblical argument. I have been the target of this word based on my eschatology, and it is not pleasant. I would love to continue discussing and debating the scripture with many who all too early throw in the towel on civil discourse and brand me with the word heretic and that pretty much ends any profitable discussion.

Why not just not use that word as the true meaning of the word is not what is meant by the user. Why not use terms like, we are at a disagreement, can we agree to disagree? We see the scripture differently. Are there true issues that warrant a breaking of fellowship? Yes indeed there are, but do we then call those we disagree with factional, or sects? That is what the word heretic and heresy mean. Let’s be honest with each other and honest with the language and let’s eshew the name calling and just chew on the theological rag together in harmony. Maybe I ask for too much…


Jeff "The Heretic"

Anonymous said...

This double speak sounds dangerously familiar to the liberals in the SBC now called moderates. They said we believe the Bible, just in our own way. I'm not saying we can't disagree and still be brothers and sisters in Christ. Do we really want to slide down that slippery slope of accepting any and all interpretations of Scripture? I think we've been down that road once before.

Cheryl Schatz said...

"Merriam Webster's definition of a heretic: one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine"

I think that in the Christian faith the "accepted belief or doctrine" encompasses only the essential tenets of the faith not the secondary issues where we can agree to disagree otherwise we are all in a position to become heretics to each other since likely none of us agree 100% in every single one of the non-essential beliefs. If we take it that far then the word "heretic" is meaningless.

Where we need to be very careful is applying such a term to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. There is a separating effect that comes from the judgment of heresy. In fact those who practice "heresy" will not be in the kingdom of God. In Galatians 5:19ff, Paul includes the sin of heresy in the list of witchcraft, adultery, idolatry and murder. Notice what Paul clearly says about those who practice these things (heresy, etc):

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, *heresies*,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that *they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God*.

Peter concurs with Paul by saying:

2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

The KJV renders this verse as "damnable heresies". A false teacher (a heretic) brings heresies and those who practice these things will not be in the kingdom.

True heretics have "left the faith" and two of them are mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:19, 20. These two men are not in a position to be taught the truth since they are deliberate deceivers and deliberate deceivers are not teachable. Instead of being taught in the church, Paul handed these two heretics over to Satan to be "taught" not to blaspheme.

How can a brother in Christ call me a sister in Christ with one breath and the next call me a heretic for disagreeing with him on a non-essential of the gospel? I believe it is because he does not really believe me to be a true sister in Christ. He has separated himself from me. He said that sigaō applies to me (the Greek word meaning to keep silent a.k.a. "shut up") He refuses to allow me to speak on his radio show again to finish the passage that we were talking about (1 Timothy 2:11-15) so that my teaching has been left hanging and those in his audience do not understand the clear reasoning that I have to hold to my position. Atheists are fine with Matt and he regularly allows them on his radio program. Mormons are fine too as well as proponents of the heresy of the "oneness" doctrine who do not believe there are three persons in the trinity. But a woman who believes that women are allowed to teach the bible with authority? She is to "shut up".

God sincerely desires unity in the body of Christ. This unity doesn't mean that we cannot disagree on the non-essentials. It means that we are to LOVE one another as valued members in Christ. If we see our brother or sister deceived then we need to correct them in love because we care. We correct brothers and sisters, we separate from heretics. But in no respect are heretics our brothers or sisters in Christ.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

The Bible writers had one thought in mind when writing the inspired text. There are many applications to each verse but only one interpretation.

I absolutely agree with this statement. It always bugs me when I hear people say that some passage can mean one thing for you and another thing for me. No-it means what it means.

The question is, "What does it mean?"

Cheryl is not arguing for her "own interpretation," ie: one that works for her and not for you.

She is doing her best to come to the one correct interpretation of what it means. And therefore, I agree with you, she should not be called a heretic.

NativeVermonter said...

I like the phrase that Laura used: a “salvation-preventing error.” That serves as a good succinct definition. And we would do well to only use the term when absolutely needed. For example, I did have to use it recently when a co-worker said that you cannot be saved without baptism. After much dialogue, I finally had to say that I consider their viewpoint heresy. And just a side note, even when you use a pleasant sounding voice, folks don’t tend to take it real well. (I must say that our conversations don’t seem to abound much anymore.) So let’s keep the H in heresy and only use it as a measure of last resort. Words tend to lose their intended purpose when overused. Like when I say: "I'll do the dishes in a minute."

Tom Parker said...

What is going to be the practical application of not allowing women to teach men? Are all the women who are now teaching men going to be removed from their positions? How soon will all of this happen?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I thought there was a great question asked on this blog when the topic came up earlier:

At what age must women stop teaching "men"? Should we fire our nursery workers? Youth workers?

And no, the passage does not say "office of pastor."

Dave Miller said...

The definition of heresy as "deviation from accepted doctrine" means that at one time Matt Slick would have been right. In my youth (so long ago) only the extreme pentecostals accepted women as pastors. So, the church had an accepted doctrine on women preachers and deviation from it could be considered heresy.

My definition of heresy is a little different. Heresy is any doctrinal deviation that undercuts the message of the gospel.

Paul told the Corinthians (1 Cor 15) that the doctrines of the gospel were of "first importance" - which implies that there are doctrines of second importance.

I have very little respect for evangelical feminist hermeneutics. They clearly start from a cultural position and argue backwards. No one (IMHO) would just pick up a Bible, apply sound hermeneutics, and come to the opinion that women pastors are okay.

However, it falls short of being heresy.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave,

I appreciate the gentleness with which you write. May I also pose a couple of questions?

1. Could anyone who picked up the *Old Testament* come to the conclusion that God had a law that forbids godly women from teaching the truth of his word to men?

2. Would it be reasonable to say that since God never forbids women from teaching the bible in the OT (and Huldah was consulted regarding God's word) and nowhere does any of the lists of sin in scripture ever list the "sin" of godly Christian women teaching correct biblical doctrine to men, and since the only verse that seems to imply some type of prohibition (it seems universal only if it is excluded from its context) but such an interpretation has no second witness to prove a universal "law", should we be forcing women to be prejudiced against their brothers in Christ by insisting that they refuse to teach men and insisting that women teachers kick men out of their bible studies?

Bill said...

Women teaching and women pastoring are two separate issues. Paul's evident disqualification of women from teaching men does not have a pastoral context.

I'm a firm believer that you must take the whole of a passage, even if it bites you in the backside. For example, you can't use the nazirite laws as an argument against alcohol consumption without taking a stand against eating grapes and raisins.

If you take Paul's words at face value then women can't teach or be in authority over men period. Ever. This raises a whole host of questions. Can women teach in high school? Can they ever hold any type of "outside the home" job where they might be in authority over men? When does their authority or their sons cease and they become under their son's authority? You might reasonably argue that even without a pastoral context, Paul's words are in a church context. But many of the same questions apply. Can a women EVER speak about the bible, or doctrine in the presence of men, lest they inadvertently teach them something? Let's be consistent.

Melanie W said...

Dave Miller mentioned that he had little respect for those that start with a cultural position and then argue backwards. My question - is it possible to study the Bible without a cultural position?

You are reading the Bible as a person who has certain cultural tendencies, because of where and how you were raised you will naturally interpret passages certain ways. Perhaps a person is magically free of these cultural inclinations. Unfortunately you are (most likely) reading a version of the Bible that has been translated by men who have certain cultural positions, which most likely influenced their translations of certain passages. Perhaps again, however, you are a Biblical languages scholar and can read Hebrew and Greek with the best of them. Can you be free from a "cultural position"? I'm afraid not, as God used men with certain cultural positions to write the books. So, alas, I find it impossible to completely separate "culture" from hermanuetics.

I agree with Dave and all those who would argue that we must be careful that we don't go looking for Biblical passages that back up what we already believe. But I don't believe that all evangelical feminist hermanuetics are guilty of that charge.

Melanie

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

If you take Paul's words at face value then women can't teach or be in authority over men period. Ever.

Bill,
Exactly.

Others (a),
If you read all of Cheryl's writings I think it would be unfair to label her either a feminist or an evangelical feminist.

Others (b),
If someone otherwise held to essential Christian doctrine, should they be labeled a heretic if they believed in annhilationism? This is not a random question. I know a person to whom this applies and I am trying to decide if it rises to the level of "heresy" with all of its negative connotations attached. I was thinking about this before Wade made this post btw.

bryan riley said...

I think if you interpret faith in Christ to mean faith in a whole host of doctrines which are perfectly knowable through systematic theology then you come to these kinds of conclusions - that there are many heretics out there. But if you begin to realize that Jesus addressed that kind of thinking in John 5:30-47... well, it really takes away from such claims of heresy.

I'm glad we have Jesus to fix our eyes on and not just the Slicks of the world.

Baptist Theologue said...

This subject is near and dear to my heart. I’ve been called a heretic during theological debates, and such a label stings whether it is correctly applied or not. Sometimes I need to be stung, but use of an inaccurate, disparaging term is not appropriate. I agree with every word of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, so how could anyone call me a heretic? : ) Calling someone a heretic is normally a conversation-stopper. I think the prevalence of this phenomenon is just one more indication that our society has become very uncivil in its discourse. Many people simply do not know how to disagree agreeably. This state of affairs is not only boorish and distasteful, it is dangerous in a democracy. We should do everything possible to teach our children how to make biblical, logical arguments. A good resource can be found at http://www.christianlogic.com . Does anyone remember William F. Buckley Jr. on the PBS program “Firing Line”? I don’t agree with everything Buckley has said, but I certainly enjoyed his non-confrontational, scholarly, logical style during his debates. We don’t see that style on television much anymore, do we? Does anyone remember how Mr. Spock’s logic won the day on Star Trek? Now, emotion-laden sound bytes tend to win the day or at least claim victory. How tragic! In commenting on John 1:1, the Greek scholar A. T. Robertson said, “Logos is common for reason as well as speech.” The word “Logos” and the word “logic” have a common root. Our God is indeed a logical God. Not one of us has a perfect understanding of God’s logic. Not one of us has a perfect understanding of Scripture. When we disagree, however, I think we would do well to frame our arguments logically (by using biblically based, logically sound arguments) rather than pejoratively (by using a disparaging term like “heretic”).

Colin McGahey said...

Too many evangelicals - including some Southern Baptists - are so much into heresy hunting that they have contributed to the tearing down of our fellow evangelicals.

Perhaps, but who are these Southern Baptists? I agree the free use of the term is not helpful, but neither is giving certain doctrinal teaching a pass without evaluating its merits. There is, after all, a faith for which we must contend, and this contention need not be grandstanding.


Cheryl's hermeneutic applied can only mean denial of the Great Commission. Would this qualify as heresy? It would certainly bounce Cheryl out of the tight "conservative, evangelical Christian" group in which Wade has placed her. It astounds me that discernment has given way to so much in this venue.

Dave Miller said...

Cheryl,

1. Could anyone who picked up the *Old Testament* come to the conclusion that God had a law that forbids godly women from teaching the truth of his word to men?

It depends. The role of the priesthood was clearly a male role, and the role of prophet was almost exclusively male. So, authoritative male teaching was fairly well established. However, I know of no absolute law that mirrors 1 Timothy 2.

If you believe that what is not excluded is permitted, your point may be valid. But if you look at the thrust of the Old Testament, it seems clear that authoritative proclamation to the assembly of God's people was a male role.

2)...should we be forcing women to be prejudiced against their brothers in Christ by insisting that they refuse to teach men and insisting that women teachers kick men out of their bible studies?

I would say a few things here.

*Huldah was consulted for her view and gave a prophecy, but she did not stand before people of God and proclaim "thus saith the Lord." I have had great theological conversations with women, but that would not lead me to give them my pulpit on Sunday.

*1 Timothy 2 restriction is clearly rooted in the order of creation and the fall - as is pretty much every teaching Paul makes on the roles of men and women.

*Of course, every verse must be read in context, but "context" cannot be used to deny the clear teaching of a verse of scripture. Paul was giving a clear instruction to Timothy about the roles of men and women in the church, rooted in eternal principles and the natural order of creation. This is one of evangelical feminism's hermeneutical tactics I referred to earlier - denying the clear thrust of the passage by appealing to an arcane or nebulous (context).

*Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 14:34 exhorting women to be silent seems to be a second witness to this principle.

My problem (as I think I have been consistent in saying) is with the hermeneutics employed by egalitarians and evangelical feminists in dealing with the teachings of Paul and Peter.

Those who employ those hermeneutics I disagree with, but would NEVER drop the h-bomb on you.

NOTE: in retrospect, I would change the wording of my previous post from "have no respect for" to "have strong disagreement with".

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You said: "Cheryl's hermeneutic applied can only mean denial of the Great Commission."

Huh? Where is your evidence of that? I like evidence. Prove your point. I teach nothing of the sort and this is just very "unhelpful".

Dave Miller said...

Several years ago, the convention pastor at the SBC preached a sermon that has stuck with me. He told a story.

A man owned a castle whose walls had fallen down. He left on a long trip and told his workmen to rebuild the walls. They told him they did not know where to get the stone. He said, "I don't care where you get the stone, just get it and rebuild the wall."

He returned sometime later and was pleased to find the wall beautifully rebuilt. But he was horrified when he went in the gate. The castle was gone. The workers had torn down the castle to rebuild the wall.

The pastor said, "Yes, we need a wall of protection, a wall of orthodoxy. It is important that we rebuild this wall to protect ourselves from false teachers. But let us not tear down the castle to build the wall."

We need to stand strong and confront heresy when it arises. But when we divide over secondary issues, we are tearing down the castle.

Tom Parker said...

I would really love an answer to the questions I posed earlier today, because if we continue down this road someone is going to have to answer the following questions:

What is going to be the practical application of not allowing women to teach men? Are all the women who are now teaching men going to be removed from their positions? How soon will all of this happen?

Colin McGahey said...

I will, yet I will not engage comments that are too long. I have limited time. Brevity is an indicator of knowledge.

You have deemed that the only imperatives in the Bible we follow at face value are those who have "an Old Testament witness." NT Scripture cannot stand on its own, you say. The Great Commission is NT imperative, but where in the OT is the witness to "baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?"

kehrsam said...

Now that I've listened to the interview, I need to say that first, the host is unbelievably rude and condescending. I hope this is not his manner when he confronts non-believers, as I cannot imagine how he could lead anyone to God with that attitude.

Second, to Cheryl I say, Thanks for the lesson. Both the message of your words and the way you deported yourself both speak volumes about Christian charity. This male baptist is grateful to be taught.

As for the issue of the definition of "heresy," the dictionary is giving it's use in everyday language, not the more specific meaning it has in church history and usage. I say keep the word to its proper sphere. Denying that Jesus was human is heresy; what we have here is a mere difference of opinion.

Such differences can be important in defining a denomination. But surely there is no reason for doubting the salvation of Methodists because they have some female Pastors.

Kurt A. Ehrsam

Anonymous said...

I am sure glad that Martin Luther stood his ground against "orthodox and accepted belief and practices" when he dared to defy the centuries old WRONG things of the orthodoxy......

Even at the risk of his life.

Hence, we can have these discussions without receiving a death sentence from those who worship their orthodoxy. Yet, the Gospel of Jesus Christ goes on.


Thank you Dr Luther

By His Blood
Darrell Treat
wtreat@centurytel.net

Mary said...

OK so here's a question....What's the difference between calling someone a heretic and just accusing them of heresy? All over blogdom, if I say I reject Calvinism then I'm accused of having a "man-centered" theology, which is not true and if it were true that would be heresy. Now the person hasn't actually called me a name, but they've certainly decided that I'm a heretic and with the Pharisee's demonstrated that "Lord thank you I'm not like those ignorant (fill in the blank)" attitude. We've even been accused of being atheist because we reject Calvinism - you can't even be a Christian if you reject Calvinism. Seems to me like there are an awful lot of people wandering around these blogs accusing people of heresy and not showing respect for those who have different intepretations. Are we going to be consistent and call a spade a spade?



I agree with this statement:



The definition of heretic has become "anyone who believes differently than I do."

It may be the height of spiritual pride to label a person a heretic,(and I would add accuse a person of heresy) simply because they disagree on an intepretation.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dave,
I asked:
1. Could anyone who picked up the *Old Testament* come to the conclusion that God had a law that forbids godly women from teaching the truth of his word to men?

You said: It depends. The role of the priesthood was clearly a male role, and the role of prophet was almost exclusively male. So, authoritative male teaching was fairly well established. However, I know of no absolute law that mirrors 1 Timothy 2.

While I agree that men can go to the OT and see “men only” in giving out of God’s word, this position is not stated in scripture and also is not kept by God himself. God gifted and used women to give out his word. If he used them then they are his servants whether they were used in a home, under a palm tree or at an open air gathering of Israel. The fact is that God gifts and uses whomever he wants because it is God who is sovereign. If we used the same argument against Gentiles that has been used against women, we would be pulling at straws to provide a way for Gentiles to teach God’s word to the church.

You said: “it seems clear that authoritative proclamation to the assembly of God's people was a male role”

Then God should not have spoken through a woman at all and he should have made a “law” giving this prohibition. No godly woman in the OT would have thought twice about teaching the word of God to her husband or another man if God had directed her to do so. The real question is one of authority. Where does the authority lie? Is it in the man or woman or is it in the word of God?

You said: “*Huldah was consulted for her view and gave a prophecy, but she did not stand before people of God and proclaim "thus saith the Lord." I have had great theological conversations with women, but that would not lead me to give them my pulpit on Sunday.”

Huldah did proclaim thus saith the Lord. In 2 Kings 22:15 it says “She said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Tell the man who sent you to me,”

These were the people of God that she was speaking to. They were sent by the King specifically to Huldah. Jeremiah was in the land as a Prophet of God for several years already but the King did not send the men to Jeremiah? Why? Because God chose to use a woman even when a man was available. God chose to have a woman speak with authority as his spokesman.

Today we have women doing the same thing. 1 Peter 4:10, 11 tells us that we are to speak the utterances of God as God gives us the gift of speech. To do anything less is to deny the one who bought us and gave us a command to serve him in all our gifts.

You also said: “*1 Timothy 2 restriction is clearly rooted in the order of creation and the fall - as is pretty much every teaching Paul makes on the roles of men and women.”

However you missed one thing. Paul’s reference to the order of creation is tied into the first one created was not deceived and the one who came later experience deception. The order of creation is only tied into deception and not authority or teaching. Adam’s not being deceived is tied into verse 11. The one who has founded in correct doctrine will not be deceived. Paul has commanded her to learn and this learning is to undo the foundation of error and deception in her life. When you go back to Genesis to find out why Adam knew that Eve didn’t it is fascinating to see something that most have not picked up on before. It is too much to list it here but if you check out my DVD, it is presented there clearly and with documentation.

You also said: “*Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 14:34 exhorting women to be silent seems to be a second witness to this principle.”

This is impossible because not only does the “law”referenced in verse 34 not exist in scripture (it does exist in the Talmud) but verse 36 is a verse that refutes verses 34 & 35. All the documentation is listed in my DVD.

You said: “Those who employ those hermeneutics I disagree with, but would NEVER drop the h-bomb on you.”

Bless you , brother! I also disagree with much of the hermeneutics of those who call themselves evangelical feminists. That is why when what they said conformed to the word of God, I accept it. When it did not, as much of what I read in 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Cor. 14 did not conform to scripture, I rejected it. You will find that my exegesis is consistent and sticks with the context because I am a lover of truth and hold scripture in high regard.

If anyone wants to debate in length, my blog is open for respectful discussion :)

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You said: "The Great Commission is NT imperative, but where in the OT is the witness to "baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?"

What I have been getting at is that every "law" has its basis in the OT. I have yet to find a law that does not:

1) have its foundation in the OT
2) is not repeated in scripture

The "law" that women are not allowed to teach correct biblical doctrine to men is not found in the OT and it is not repeated. That is a red flag to me and has caused me to search further to see what God actually means.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Kurt,

You said: "Second, to Cheryl I say, Thanks for the lesson. Both the message of your words and the way you deported yourself both speak volumes about Christian charity. This male baptist is grateful to be taught."

I am humbled by your words. All I have ever wanted was to be a servant and serve the body of Christ. If I have done that for you, my friend, I give the glory to Jesus.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Mary,
Tru 'dat.

I have been told to teach anything other than Calvinism is to deny the gospel itself.

:)

Craig said...

When many men go to heaven, I wouldn't be surprised to see Deborah and Rahab and Esther punch them in the mouth.

Mary said...

Craig said...
When many men go to heaven, I wouldn't be surprised to see Deborah and Rahab and Esther punch them in the mouth.

02 October, 2007 16:50
Craig -- LOL!

Don't forget the Woman at the Well (the first missionary) and the women who stayed with Jesus at the cross and oh who were the first to witness our risen Lord? Oh yeah - Women! Jesus did not treat women the way some men in the SBC want to treat women.

Mary said...

David says,

Tru 'dat.

I have been told to teach anything other than Calvinism is to deny the gospel itself.

:)

David, that's because Calvinism IS the Gospel you silly wabbit! Some folk are kind enough to believe that I'm not really a heretic, but I'm completely dumb and confused.

Dave Miller said...

I figured out what a heretic is from a family in my previous church.

A heretic is anyone who doesn't believe everything that RC Sproul says.

bryan riley said...

Colin, I think the Great Commission is the whole point of the OT and the NT. Baptizing, or immersing, the world in the name/reputation/character of God the Father, God the Son, and God the HOly Spirit is the Message of the Word. It's reflected from the very beginning, even in the Noahic flood and the first covenant with Abraham and throughout.

Colin McGahey said...

Cheryl,

Where have you been getting this notion that a "law" requires both an OT foundation and repetition to be valid? I agree all the NT has its foundation in the OT. But God's revelation can stand on its own.

However, your "law" seems to be a prohibitive volitional clause. So the introduction of the adverbs "may" or "ou(k)" making the command a prohibition suddenly turns it into something that is invalid without meeting your criteria. Functionally, then, the Great Commission is no different from a "law" except for the adverb. So to be consistent, you must give equal scrutiny to the volitional clauses of command (or the grammatically "non-negative 'laws'"). I ask you again, where do you have the biblical basis for implementing such a restrictive grid on the words of Scripture?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Craig,
Yeah-I've always kinda thought Deborah had authority over men.

Mary said...

Dave Miller said...

I figured out what a heretic is from a family in my previous church.

A heretic is anyone who doesn't believe everything that RC Sproul says.

02 October, 2007 17:13

______________

So if I said I think John Piper's a kook, some people would be getting the stake, hay and matches!

Scott Shaffer said...

It looks like we all agree that Slick was out of line calling her a heretic. Now comes the hard part.

Would you call someone a heretic who:

1. Denied the Trinity

2. Denied Christ's incarnation or deity.

3. Denied the existence of a literal hell; instead, held to annihilation.

4. Supported the continuation of miraculous sign gifts.

5. Preached the health & wealth prosperity gospel

6. Taught that homosexual behavior was not sin.

7. Taught that God was not omniscient

Your thoughts?

Dave Miller said...

Would you call someone a heretic who:

1. Denied the Trinity

Yep

2. Denied Christ's incarnation or deity.

Yep

3. Denied the existence of a literal hell; instead, held to annihilation.

Probably, but would only flog them, not burn them at the stake.

4. Supported the continuation of miraculous sign gifts.

No.

5. Preached the health & wealth prosperity gospel

Close, but no.

6. Taught that homosexual behavior was not sin.

No, but I bet you a bag of cookies that this person has other beliefs that come pretty close to being heretical.

7. Taught that God was not omniscient

Yep.

Paul Burleson said...

To all,

I'm a bit strange I guess. I believe much of what Cheryl Schatz, RC Sproul, John Piper, Dave Miller, Mary of Texas and a lot of others say about scripture, and even most of what Wade Burleson says about things.

The strange part is two-fold. ONE is... it is not BECAUSE they say it but because I believe I see it in the text the WAY they say it and that is the reason I agree. TWO is...what I DO see a little differently than do they.. doesn't require me to NOT treat/respect them as a brother/sister because anyone who calls Jesus Lord is my brother/sister. This rules out my thinking of them as an heretic for either... ONE [obviously] or... TWO. [scripturally]

Oh well...truth be known...I believe ALL of what Wade says about scripture. ;)

CharlieMac said...

I believe that those of us who enjoy the freedom to read the Bible for ourselves and to believe as Baptists and belong to Southern Baptist churches should daily thank God for some pretty famous heretics.

Galileo and Martin Luther jump to the front in my mind, but a number of early Baptist laymen and preachers were bound hand and foot and tossed into rivers for the heresy of baptism by immersion. I for one thank for these "heretics" of by gone days. Students of God's Word have learned, grown and come to understand God better through study of the Word and creation.

Someday future generations of Soutehrn Baptists may like wise thank God for today's heretics who dare believe and practice that women can teach men in church, in seminaries and yes even their own homes.

Mac McFatter
Semmes, AL

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

Hey Wade,

blessings to you from New Mexico. I just want to add my two cents. I think that we are all heretical on some points. I may get some flack for that but many of my Christian heros could well be put into that catigory. I just finished a biography on Whitefield, his view toward slavery would be called heretical today; his buddy John Wessley held some heretical beliefs (even according to Whitefield himself). Many of the great men of God througout church history were heritics- Augustin, whom we reformed people love and admire for his soteriology, hate his view of baptismal regeneration. The list could go on and on. My question is how much of a heretic can you be without being apostate? Certainly a denial of the Lord Jesus Christ and His substitutionary atonement should be apostate; but what about views like particular or general atonement? of the Bible? of end times? of episcopal, pesbyterian or congregational goverment? of baptism? Such views we might consider as secondary, but there must be a right view that is scriptural making the others heretical. I think my beliefs are scriptural; however, I freely admit that some might see some of my doctrines as heretical. With that in mind, I can get along with other Christians quite well, not endorsing what I believe is heretical, but with the understanding that not all heresy is equal with apostacy. Hope that makes sense.

In Christ,
Bob

Charles R. said...

Mac,
You're my hero! Well said!

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

My question is how much of a heretic can you be without being apostate?

pastor farmer,

Thank you thank you thank you. This is what I was trying to articulate and couldnt.

Now, please give me the answer!!!

:)

Rex Ray said...

Which is more important; teaching a child who will believe just about anything, or teaching a man?

“Teach a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Catholics claim if they can teach a child until they are 7 years old, the child will always believe what they have taught him.

If women’s teaching is in question, it would seem children should be protected moreso than men who are mature enough to decide if information is true or false.

A woman not allowed to teach men is a lot of baloney.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Matt's assistant (?) Diane had posted a message on the carmradioblog that Matt does not read the posts there. Instead he has a discussion forum that he visits.

So I went there (not so simple) and Matt has posted more about his frustration with Cheryl. She has posted in response. Nothing has come up that I could see about the charge of heresy so I posted the following:

Is Cheryl a heretic?

Matt, you told Cheryl that she was a heretic. Words have various definitions as well as connotations. It doesn't bother me at all that the two of you cant agree on exegeting this text. But can you please clarify what you mean by calling her a heretic? Is she apostate?

Thanks in advance.


I will let you know if he responds.

Cheryl Schatz said...

David,

Thanks for your help!

I also asked Diane for the privilege to name my DVD on Matt's blog so that those on his blog can go to youtube.com and see the video clips of the entire set. I read where Matt said that he would allow me to advertise it if I had asked him. But they removed the information from the audio file on Matt's site even after he said that he would give me permission. He also said that I could come back on the show if I jumped through his hoops. I agreed and he rescinded. That is twice he has said one thing and done another. So I jumped through their hoops again and asked permission. But once again I am almost certain they won't allow it. Diane had posted a note on the second radio discussion that says they won't allow advertising of heresy(!)

If Matt responds to you David, I would like it if you could get him to answer if Dr. R.K. MacGregor Wright is also a heretic since he will be writing an endorsement for my DVD and he believes that women can teach the bible with authority even to men! Or how about Pastor Jon Zens a wonderful Baptist Pastor who is now selling my DVDs because he likes them so much. Or how about Dr. Douglas Groothuis whose agrees with his wife Rebecca on women's ability to teach men with authority? Are all of these people heretics? If they are, then Matt's assessment should be quoted here. If they aren't then I am not either and Matt should give me another chance on his radio show
:)

Okay, am I persistent or what? (Some would say a wee big crazy but I have a message to tell and I would like to finish it!)

Stephen Pruett said...

Some have disagreed with Cheryl on the issue of women as teachers/pastors, which is OK with me, but no one has successfully refuted any of her exegesis on her blog that leads to her conclusions. I exchanged letters with Paige Patterson on this issue a few years ago, and he could not answer the same questions posed by Cheryl (How can 1Tim 2 be universal when other NT and OT passages affirm women teaching, prophesying, which contains teaching, and praying?). I have not seen any satisfactory response. I am not sure which interpretation of this issue is correct, but I am sure enough that this is a difficult enough matter in scripture that we should not exclude anyone because of it. Those who say this means we would tolerate wrong doctrine are simply incorrect. Wrong doctrine on many issues is easy to identify and I will always oppose it. However, humility before the Bible and before God keeps me from using this issue as a litmus test for anything.

Kevin Bussey said...

Man Wade,

Are you trying to get a post about you on Slice of Laodicea?

Bob Cleveland said...

Why is it necessary to call people any names? We don't lead people towards Jesus by calling them names; nor do we help them see erroneous ideas for what they are, by calling them some other names. We do that by telling them the truth and letting the Holy Spirit do His work.

Or maybe the way we've been doing that hasn't accomplished OUR goals so we feel the need to add to the truth.

Hmm....

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Are you trying to get a post about you on Slice of Laodicea?

Wouldnt work any way. They are now offline.

Mary in Texas said...

Paul Burleson:

How kind of you!

All:

After having a listen, I have more evidence for a pet theory of mine: It may well be a sign of one's sound beliefs and teachings if some people declare you a heretic because of them.

Mary in Texas said...

Really?? Slice is now off-line?

This day is getting better! (grin)

Bob Cleveland said...

One other cute little point that this stuff about women in ministry points to is: we go to great lengths to discern this or that and talk about qualifications and gifts and abilities and all that about women. Doing that in general is fine, but shouldn't that also be an individual thing?

We can point out excellent women teachers and leaders (as in Worship Leaders) and I guess that's an a posteriori argument (been wanting to use that word for a long time) but it's almost as if ... if you're a man ... well then, you qualify.

Just what on earth DOES Galatians 3:28 mean, anyway?

Mary in Texas said...

I think folks are far too free with assigning "pink" and "blue" segregation marks to their Bibles. By this, I mean that they tend to look for specific things to limit things to one or the other, without asking the Holy Spirit, "What am I to make of this passage in terms of MY obedience/holiness/faithfulness/growth etc.?" We focus so minutely on a verse or fragment of same, that we often overlook the "Likewise" that follows or preceeds it. We ignore the context. We ignore the original audience. We ignore anything except the "plain meaning" of a sentence or phrase never intended to be isolated from its surrounding context. And out of such isolated text, we construct dogmas and doctrines diametrically opposed to the context from which we ripped them.

To use one example: 1 Tim. 2:12. Taken alone, it shows a prohibition against A woman (singular) teaching or wresting authority from A man (singular). The context, however, is order in worship and the expected qualities of leaders in the church community--including women deacons (1 Tim. 2:11--right smack in the middle of instructions about deacons). It is particularly unfortunate that whenever 1 Tim. 2:12 is divorced from its context, it is divided from the preceeding verse, in which Timothy is urged to let that woman learn. How? The same way any of us should: in stillness/quietness, with an attitude of submission to the one who teaches. (I think sometimes, those who lob this verse at others take nothing from 1 Tim. 2:11 for their own edification.) It is NOT only women who are to take this verse to heart! We are to let the unlearned learn, teach them the way they should learn, and then permit God to determine how their gift of learning is to benefit the community. And further, are those listed qualities for overseers and servants/deacons only desirable in those who are selected to serve as overseers and deacons? It doesn't seem so. So which is more important: the qualities, or the positions? Are we to ignore them if we're not overseers or deacons, or use them as measures of our own maturity in Christ?

Mary in Texas said...

Oops...make that 1 Tim. 3:11 about women deacons, not 1 Tim. 2:11. 2:11 is about letting the woman learn.

Anonymous said...

How in any interpretation of Scripture can you determine that "if a MAN desires the office of elder/bishop/pastor" to mean a woman can? I've never been able to get past that. Are women valuable to ministry? Absolutely! Most of the work wouldn't get done in our churches that's certain. But is a woman allowed to hold a ministerial position? Not if you literally interpret the word of God and not shape it to fit your own personal beliefs.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Dear anonymous,

If you look at the Greek the "any man" is actually "any person". This is the exact same grammatical Greek construction as when Jesus said:

Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If *anyone* wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Since it is the same word and the same Greek grammatical construction, do you question that Jesus was also talking about women here? Every single salvation passage is also in the same Greek construction. Do you question whether women can be saved? I don't because it is obvious from the Greek that "anyone" means anyone.

Colin McGahey said...

Cheryl,

Quickly. You said, If you look at the Greek the "any man" is actually "any person".

Your definition is not correct. The word in question,"tis," can also mean "any man." Consider, for instance, 1 Cor 7:18. How can a non-gender specific "tis" be explained in regards to circumcision?

The indefinite pronoun "tis" must be translated in context. With 1 Tim 3 (and seen also in Tit 1:6), "tis" is properly rendered "any man" because of the qualifier in v2, "the husband of one wife;" unless you hold that women with one wife are qualified as well.

Cheryl, you sound like a sweet, kind lady who indeed is zealous for God. But do you think people who are repeating what you're teaching would like to know these things?

Melanie W said...

Colin - I am not a Greek expert. At all. But you say that the Greek word in question "tis" must be translated in context. So, honest question, how are we certain that the ONLY proper translation is a MAN with one wife? Is it possible that the original readers on this letter would have assumed that this could also mean a WOMAN of one husband?

Melanie

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You said: "Cheryl, you sound like a sweet, kind lady who indeed is zealous for God. But do you think people who are repeating what you're teaching would like to know these things?"

Actually I am glad that you asked because I first got this information from a godly man with a doctorate degree who is a complementarian and was the first one to review my DVD. What he told me is that the word for anyone "tis" is a generic word and that the fact that it is singular masculine in 1 Timothy 3:1 does not exclude women in the exact same way that used in all the salvation passages does not exclude women.

So what do we use to exclude women? 1 Timothy 3 talks about women and their qualifications using the term "likewise". There is debate about who these women are, but the fact is that they are included in the passage. Then of course you already know that the word for overseer in 1 Timothy 3:1 is feminine. This in no way means that men are not allowed to be overseers in the same way that "tis" as a singular masculine does not disqualify women from being overseers.

I also really liked the spirit of your post. It is refreshing to have someone disagree agreeably. It is also nice that you didn't attack my character and could see that I sincerely want to know the truth of scripture. For that I commend you!

Cheryl Schatz said...

Melanie,

There is archaeological evidence that the term is used on some pagan graves of both men and women. This would make "husband of one wife" equivalent to saying "faithful spouse". I am not fully convinced of this myself but I am open to it.

I do know one thing because of my study of the Talmud and the fact that the High Priest was restricted from being a polygamist and this is that polygamy was only a male no-no since there was no polyandry allowed in society. It makes full sense to me that Paul would make those who are to be examples of godly living to be required to be faithful to their one and only spouse (not excluding when the marriage vows are broken by death) but at this point, I lean towards the interpretation that this is restricting only males from having multiple wives since the phrase "above reproach" would also include the necessity to be a faithful spouse. The women are talked about later in the passage and their qualifications pretty much proves that they are to be held up as examples in the congregation as well. That is, after all, what an elder should be - a godly example of the characteristics that all of us should attain to. All of us then need to desire and grow to be mature Christians and faithful in all things.

Colin McGahey said...

Melanie,

No. The word for woman is in the "possessive" tense (over-simplified explanation).


Cheryl,

Are you disagreeing that your definition was incorrect? What about 1 Co 7:18? Further, I have no idea what you are trying to say in the rest of your comment. The word for the office of the overseer is indeed in the feminine because the word itself is feminine- it does not point to gender of the office holder. That is the nature of greek nouns. It has nothing to do with "tis" or the reason it is masculine in 1 Tim 3:2.

You said in the Greek the tis was not "any man," but "any person." The Greek does not say that. You said that, and gave doctorate credentials of someone else as proof.

Colin McGahey said...

Cheryl,

Gotta go. Please actually consider my reasoning. Your zeal is evident, but your hermeneutic is dangerous and false, as I demonstrated above and you did not address. I wouldn't call you a heretic, and laying your egalitarianism aside for a sec, your teaching certainly leads to heresy if you follow it out to its logical conclusion.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Cheryl,
The more I read and listen to you the more I wish more Christians were as careful with their texts as you are. I commend you for being an excellent Berean.

I think people may reasonably disagree with you, but they have to admit you have done your homework. It's a shame Matt would not allow you to speak and answer his questions.

Btw, I have long been convinced that while some like to emphasize HUSBAND in that passage it is ONE WIFE that should be emphasized. I believe it is a reference to polygamy.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Colin,
I'm not sure what you mean by following it out to its logical conclusion.

If she followed her own teaching, women would be allowed to preach the Gospel and therefore people would be saved.

What logical conclusion do you come to?

foxofbama said...

Big Daddy Weave is having a lot of fun with CB Scott and others on the outcroppings of heresy at Wes Kenney's Blog on Wade Burleson receiving the CBE award.
Congrats Wade, And:
Love to see you pick up on the discussion there at Wes Kenney about the significance of David Gushee's Baptist pilgrimage from Southern to Dockery Union to Mercer.
That is the vortex of the matter; what Gushee and Carey Newman said about Al Mohler's mid 90's "Covenant" at Southern in Barry Hankins Uneasy in Babylon.
From there go to the Wes Kenney, BDaddy Weave, CB Scott dialogue and let the games continue.
In meantime hope many of you are visiting the baptiststoday blogs of JPierce and Tony Cartledge.
Foxofbama

Craig said...

Cheryl Schatz

Why go back there to promote your DVD? It is like going to the horse track to promote gamblers anonymous.

I just don't think they are that open to it. Plus, you may step in some of the horse puckey lying around there.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

You know Cheryl,
I hate to say it but Craig has a point. (He's my friend-I can say that.)

I gave this advice to a friend once about a similar situation. He told me years later it was the best advice anyone ever gave him. Here it is:

Mark 6:11
And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.

Just keep doing what you do and dont fret over the naysayers.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

A BREAKTHROUGH!

Here is Matt's response to my question about Cheryl being a heretic:

I don't remember saying that, but...I don't believe she's lost. She's in great error and furthering that error upon the body of Christ.

To which I responded:

Thank you for that clarification Matt. I truly appreciate it. Would you be willing to state that publicly on your radio program? I think that is important since that is where the statement was made. I do not doubt you that you do not remember saying it. But you should listen to the last 5 or 10 minutes of the second program and you will hear it.

Thank you for the response.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Oops! Now a clarification. He now says:

quote it accurately

I said she was heretical in this particular view.


I told him I would check the tape tonight and get back with him.

Blackhaw said...

"My desire in this post is to call attention to the ease with which some evangelical Christians want to attach the label 'heretic' to other conservative, evangelical Christians - just because there is a difference of interpretation at certain points of Scripture. I think it is time that the word heretic be reserved for those who are Christian in name, but 'deny' the Person or work of Christ. It should NEVER be used against those who simply interpret the Bible differently than we do. Too many evangelicals - including some Southern Baptists - are so much into heresy hunting that they have contributed to the tearing down of our fellow evangelicals."

Most of this is okay. But what is really dangerous in this quote from Wade's post is when he states that heresy "should NEVER be used against those who simply interpret the Bible differently than we do."

OF COURSE IT SHOULD! If we believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is what reveals to us the revealtion of the Word of God then I really hope we do. But Wade is contradicts himself in the very part I quoted. One can't deny the interpretation of scripture when it coes to "the person or work of Christ" but then he says that no one shoudl be called a heretic because they have a different interpretation that I do.

Wade I agree with much of what you have said here but you must be much more precise in your posts. Atagonists of you and your posts will tear up posts like this because of the contradictions within.

BH

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You said: "Are you disagreeing that your definition was incorrect?"

I don't think so, was I?

You said: "What about 1 Co 7:18?"
Yup, that one would be male because the context is um..well, you know.

You said: "The word for the office of the overseer is indeed in the feminine because the word itself is feminine- it does not point to gender of the office holder."

That was my point. The fact that tis is grammatically a singular masculine does not prove that women are not accounted in the "anyone". I gave proof of that and that is what I stand on. Perhaps you want to question whether women can be saved? I don't chose to do that. I KNOW that women can be saved and the fact that all the salvation passages are in the singular masculine is not indicative of the prohibition of women in the group. That is my point.

Yu said: "You said in the Greek the tis was not "any man," but "any person.""

What I mean is that the generic word itself doesn't tell us whether it is male, female or both. We have to go to the context. We can assume that it means both (like all the salvation passages do) unless it is clearly male only like the um..little snippy thing :)

You said: "The Greek does not say that. You said that, and gave doctorate credentials of someone else as proof."

What I said, let me say it again, is that the "tis" can mean male or female and the context tells us what it is. I said that the complementarian PHD guy told me that the grammar of 1 Timothy 3:1 does not forbid it from referring to women. It is the same grammar exactly as the salvation passages. If I say 1 Timothy 3:1 forbids women then I also must admit that women are forbidden to be saved. The whole thing is really all about whether women are forbidden or not. Because if they are forbidden, then they are sinning if they disobey. And if they are deliberately sinning and disobeying God and they do not repent by the time they die, they will go to hell. Well, that is consistent and is what a Pastor told me to my face. If I don't repent of teaching the bible to men I will go to hell when I die. I want to see the proof of that. And I want to see the proof that the bible teaches that women who are female Pastors are sinning against God. Which verse says this?

I also said that the fact that the word for overseer is feminine in NO WAY forbids men from being pastors. In a similar fashion "husband of one wife" does not forbid single men from being Pastors and "manage their children" does not forbid a man who does not have children from being a Pastor.

The key is not whether women should be Pastors, but rather whether they are forbidden from being pastors.

The same thing can be found regarding women teaching the bible to men. Does the bible forbid godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men? I don't see a universal prohibition because of 1 Timothy 2:15. Who is the "she" Paul is talking about and who are the "they"? I really want to know your answer. If anyone can show the flaws in my argument in my article that I posted on my blog, I would be thrilled to learn from you. Show me my error so I can correct my thinking.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Craig,

You said: "Why go back there to promote your DVD? It is like going to the horse track to promote gamblers anonymous.

I just don't think they are that open to it. Plus, you may step in some of the horse puckey lying around there."

What a wonderful, colorful word. It really struck my funny bone! Thank you!!

Okay, here is the deal....I am willing to be whipped and torn asunder for the gospel and for freedom for women. If my being tarred and feathered would bring one woman free, then pick me!

A long time ago the Lord took me through something that took away my pride and caused me to be humbled in order to be obedient. What that really did was freed me from worrying about horse puckey! Honest!

Let me say it this way...if a woman was being tortured and hurt in a corner of a parking lot would you care if you had to step through the poo to reach her and rescue her? Sometimes I think that there are men who are capable of standing up for their sisters in Christ and they need to say "enough is enough". It is enough that women are labeled heretics and sinners merely by following the Lord Jesus in teaching his word to the entire body of Christ.

So I look around and I see these men doing nothing. And I am humble enough to step on the poo. Man, it really doesn't hurt. It's only poo. Guys, why don't you stand up for women too and risk getting your sneakers dirtied a little? I mean if I can do it and I am nobody at all, then surely a Christian woman should be able to find your strong arm on her shoulder lifting her out of harm's way.

How about it? Anyone game to challenge Matt to a debate? Or how about going on his discussion board? I have been there this afternoon and it is very interesting. Matt isn't answering many questions. Go to http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org You will need to sign up for an account.

Once you are on the main page with all the categories listed, go down to near the bottom where it says Carm radio and click on that topic. When you are inside that category, you will find the women's discussion near the top.

Join in! What are you afraid of? Matt can't hurt anyone but women who are called by God to teach the bible with authority in the body of Christ (1 Peter 4:10, 11). If you are brave you might be able to rescue a woman or two. Come on in. As Walter Martin used to say when he encouraged people like me to minister to the cults "Come on in...the water's fine!" In 1988 I jumped into the water, and after leading many Jehovah's Witnesses to Christ and discipling them, I too can say, "Come on in. The water is fine!"

Respectfully and with much Christian love,
Cheryl

Cheryl Schatz said...

One last quote:

"quote it accurately

I said she was heretical in this particular view.

I told him I would check the tape tonight and get back with him."

Wow! Good for you! Heresy is heresy! If he views me as heretical in this view, then it doesn't matter what else I am right on, a heretic is a heretic.

I would love to listen to him rescind the charge of heresy. Will it happen? I don't know but the show is on in 3 minutes. I am tuning in, good buddies!

Cheryl
Oh and PS to David. Matt said on the discussion board that you were a follower of mine and that is why he was gruff (rude, snarky) with you. Gosh, I wonder how many followers he thinks I have?? I guess anyone that sticks up for women is thought to be "against" Matt and he can't handle it, hence the charge of being my follower. For me - I say we just name the name of Jesus and be HIS follower! There are too many Carmites out there (Matt's term for those who listen to his radio program - CARM - and follow him - Matt Slick) and not enough real men and women of God! (Can you hear my passion coming out?)

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

I listened to the tape and when Cheryl asked Matt if he was a heretic he did indeed say, "In this, yes you are."

I dont want to belabor this on Wade's blog any further but i have copied my long response to Matt on my blog.

Stephen Pruett said...

Blackhaw, There is a distinction about things we should not divide about. You may notice that no one on this or any other Baptist blog debates the Trinity, the deity of Christ, faith alone in Christ alone for salvation, etc, etc. Those doctrines are so clear in scripture that there are very very few people who even raise serious questions.

However, that is not the case with regard to some issues. It is striking to me that Paul said I see as through a glass darkly -only in part. He did not say we must obtain certainty about the meaning of every word in the Bible. Your approach would essentially disband the SBC. Why? Because if we all accused those with whom we disagree on any doctrine of teaching error and refused to have anything to do with them, there would be only a very small group. Show me 100 Baptists who believe exactly the same thing about eschatology, the 5 points of Calvin, open or closed communion, elder or congregational control, private prayer language, cessationism or continuationism, etc., etc. etc.

Sorry, but it does not seem like holy certainty to me when someone claims that they absolutely and with no doubt have THE ONE RIGHT interpretation about all of the above. Many people who comment on this and other blogs express that view about one issue or another. There is just one problem.

People just a conservative, just as committed, with just as high a view of scripture can give legitimate reasons for a different interpretation.

My impression is that most of these issues turn on an assumption about a passage that is not actually in the passage. (e.g., assuming tis refers only to men in some passage but that it refers to both men and women in others). The problem with context, is that context can often be viewed legitimately in different ways.

The discussion that might be more fruitful would be which of these issues, even those for which there may legitimately be other interpretations, are distinctive and important enough to Baptists that we should exclude anyone who does not believe them?

For me, there would be very few. For some of you there would be many. The difference between those positions has been at the center of discussion since Wade decided to publicly express the opinion that the tendency to narrow the parameters of cooperation had gone far enough and needed to be checked.

Sorry for this long comment, but I do not want to leave out direct reference to the topic of this particular post-Cheryl's discussion of the issue of women pastors. What I find exceptionally frustrating is that no one will either answer her objections to a male only interpretation or admit that they cannot answer them. Come on. If you have an answer, let's hear it. If not, admit it. Then maybe you would have more trouble being so doggone dogmatic. P.S. The tis discussion ended in a draw as far as I could tell - it depends on what you do with the adjacent passages or other passages on the topic. Some people interpret husband of one wife as certain and generalizable, but they don't generalize the commands in the same passage about children or wives as an indication that a pastor must have children or that he must have a wife. Why? It depends on one's suppositions and assumptions. Many of the same folks don't make men wear short hair and women long hair in church (1 Corinthians 11), but if they were consistent about literal interpretation of passages without cultural influence, they would. All this inconsistency makes me doubt that these folks really have it right.

Colin McGahey said...

Cheryl,

This appears to be as fruitless as the last conversation we had. I think you do not understand the nature of the Greek grammar, and that is causing some miscommunication. You said:

I also said that the fact that the word for overseer is feminine in NO WAY forbids men from being pastors. In a similar fashion "husband of one wife" does not forbid single men from being Pastors and "manage their children" does not forbid a man who does not have children from being a Pastor.

You are comparing a Greek noun to a description of a husband? Are you suggesting the word for "office of overseer" could have been masculine, indicating some kind of gender preference?

Regardless, you have not addressed my point regarding your hermeneutic, which is the major point of contention. I do think your interpretation of the indefinite pronouns of both 1 Tim 2 and 3 are faulty, as well as your logic regarding the transition from plural to singular in the passage. In two weeks I will be free to look at your article and comment. However, I will only do so if you actually acknowledge and address my points.

Again, I would like for you to look at my initial comments in the thread and address the points about your multiple-witness teaching. Talk to you in a few weeks, yet your response to the above can be for the benefit of those remaining.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Colin,

You said: "You are comparing a Greek noun to a description of a husband? Are you suggesting the word for "office of overseer" could have been masculine, indicating some kind of gender preference?"

No, I don't think that at all. The word is grammatically feminine only and is not available in the masculine form. This has nothing to do with whether "Bishops" are male or female. What I was doing was trying to awaken you to the thought that a polygamist is also a "male only" term and not available in the feminine. We do not take the "tis" to be female because episkopē is a feminine gendered term and Paul chose to use this particular term instead of a male gendered one, neither do we take "tis" to be male because of a "male only" gendered phrase. In the passage we find males and females together in context so "tis" then cannot be forced to be male only unless we can somehow get rid of the women in the passage.

Just because the first description (husband of one wife) is male only by nature of the "office" of polygamist :) , we don't make anything out of the feminine form of overseer because the nature of the word is grammatically feminine. I wasn't trying to pull Greek tricks on you although some try to do that with the masculine form of words. I was just trying to prove that it proves nothing.

Now you would have a point if polyandry was practiced and Paul said nothing about this and you also would have a point if there were no women mentioned in the text. However because there are male and female in the passage, the male gendered term for polygamy should not be forced on the text to prove a "male only" conclusion.

While I hold to the phrase (husband of one wife) as dealing with polygamy because of the strong connection with the Talmudic rules regulating the office of the High Priest, I am also open to the possibility that "husband of one wife" can be a generic term for faithful spouse. I have heard this but I am not convinced that it is a more accurate option than Paul forbidding polygamy. I am sure that a polygamist would consider himself a faithful spouse, spouse, spouse, spouse so maybe faithful wouldn't quite cut the mustard in order to prohibit polygamy. "Husband of one wife" would do the job. That is in my humble opinion.

At any rate, I don't think the possibility of another option weakens my argument. I am not arguing for forcing women Pastors on anyone. My argument is on whether Paul forbids women from being Pastors and whether women are sinning against God if they are pastors. A prohibition would be a big boost to your side if you can prove it. I don't think you can.

You also said: "I do think your interpretation of the indefinite pronouns of both 1 Tim 2 and 3 are faulty, as well as your logic regarding the transition from plural to singular in the passage. In two weeks I will be free to look at your article and comment. However, I will only do so if you actually acknowledge and address my points."

Well for more than a year and a half I have not had anyone able to refute my exegesis on 1 Timothy 2. That of course doesn't mean anything if you have the answer. I would like to read it. The importance of grammar in Paul's hard passage cannot be underestimated. The transition from "they" to "she" and then back to "she" and "they" is not only important but vital to understanding the passage. I have looked at the passage carefully and I can see no other grammatical option but to have the "she" as a single female mentioned in verses 11 & 12. When you go through my article you will see that I have carefully thought these ideas through and I cannot see a hole in my argument nor has anyone been able to even try to poke a hole in the argument. Everything matches together and makes sense unlike the current interpretation that Paul is forbidding every woman from teaching any man. That interpretation simply does not conform to the rest of scripture, nor does it make sense in a passage that is filled with references to the deceived and the deceivers.

I will look forward to the research that you do on my article. Unfortunately I will not be around in two weeks as I will be in PA for a week but you can always email me at mmoutreach [at} gmail d o t com.

I hope that helps!
Cheryl

greg.w.h said...

Let's be clear. I'm not that great at Greek, but I've meandered through a half dozen languages (Indonesian, Russian, French, Hebrew, some Spanish, some Greek). In language, there is grammatical gender and there is sexual distinction in parts of speech.

English has very weak notions of grammatical gender. Most align neatly with sexual distinction. An example is the third person male personal pronoun "he".

When you use the phrase "he ran one mile", you aren't speaking with indefinite sexual distinction. You're talking about a man or boy moving through the action of running through the distance of one mile. (I'm going to ignore the exceptions of hermaphrodites, transsexuals, and people who have subjected themselves to sexual transformation surgery.)


When you say (as Neil Armstrong claims he actually said) "That is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind", the indefinite article "a" freezes the sexual distinction of the word "man" into being solely and only male.

The more confused expression we actually attribute to him "That is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" weakens the sexual distinctiveness of the word "man" because the lack of the indefinite article "a" renders the word man into somewhat of universal meaning "humanity." Neil continues to claim he said "a man" because the quote makes very little sense if it compares small steps for humanity with giant leaps for mankind.

Regrettably, feminism has called on us to be unclear as to the meaning of the word "gender" by reusing it from its technical linguistic usage to also mean male/female sexual distinction. Instead of referring to the male/female distinctiveness of the body properly as the "sex" of a person, we now use "gender." And by doing that--especially in English which as has a very limited of the concept of linguistic gender--we confuse the two concepts.

So let's sharpen the distinction: to put it in blunt terms, you don't "gender" a hamster or guinea pig. You "sex" it. The result of determining its visible (though sometimes hidden) sexual organs results in sexual distinction. I know all of us Baptists grow all weak-kneed at this concept, but the sex of a guinea pig with male parts is "male". The sex of a guinea pig with female parts is "female". The gender of the word "guinea pig" in English remains neutral in general. Only specific guinea pigs have specific sexuality.

I know I'm making readers uncomfortable because we carry our prudeness as a sign of righteousness in Southern Baptist life, but you have to bear with me here.

'Tis' has male grammatical gender in all cases. It has indefinite sexual distinction (in spite of its definite male grammatical gender) when its antecedent has indefinite sexual distinction. Cheryl's example of salvation being available to 'tis' is an example of an antecedent that is also of indefinite sexuality.

Colin's example of 'tis' in the passage that mentions circumcision (sorry for the squeamish, but let's be clear) necessitates viewing the resulting antecedent as being of ONLY definite male sexuality. There is no other reasonable interpretation of this ancient document (FGM is never mentioned in the Bible after all and probably came on the scene later, so I'm ignoring the possibility that the phrase Colin refers to could refer to a female form of "circumcision".)

The antecedent for 1 Tim 3:1 'tis' is verse 2 and is specifically this phrase:

"man of one woman" (which is interpreted into English as any of the following:

"man of one wife"
"husband of one wife"
"husband of one woman")

The word woman--as in traditional English--from what I understand never has an indefinite sexual distinction. The word man--again as in traditional English--sometimes is used universally to mean (roughly) "human" if not "humanity".

I think that's the point Colin was making, though since he's on Wade's site he has sought to be a welcomed guest and to do it gently. I just thought it would help to summarize his entire argument--with all of the specifics he was alluding to--in one post.

Wade Burleson said...

Greg,

Well done. Colin owes you a Starbucks 'gender neutral' skinny vanilla latte.

:)

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Having listened to the radio discussion cited above, it seems that both Cheryl & Matt entered the conversation with well-defined opinions already in place; that's good for the guest but a mistake for any host, which may explain why the big-name political radio hosts don't usually even bother to have in-studio guests on the air.

Both Cheryl & Matt seemed to be talking past each other. It might have helped (probably not) had Cheryl become more of a Greek-language scholar so that each could address semantics with authority.

The "h" word should be equated with the "n" word in our discourse - so filled with self-attached associations that everyone just decides not to use it anymore; or, as the late Lenny Bruce might suggest, we use it so incessantly for everyday disagreements about everything that it loses its power as a word and falls out of use.

Wade Burleson said...

David,

Thanks for your notation of 'In this' which I have added.

I'm not sure if a person is a heretic 'in this' it makes him less of a heretic in general. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church considered Wycliffe a heretic - but not in all things. They still put the faggots on fire to burn his bones. Had he been a heretic in all things would they have added more faggots? (Sorry, I'm using the Old English word for logs).

Just a thought.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

And it's a great thought Wade, which leads to the earlier question somebody posed:

How much of a heretic does one have to be before they are apostate?

I have been thinking about that question non-stop lately.

Wade Burleson said...

David,

I honestly can't answer your question. My gut tells me that if you pronounce someone a heretic, you are declaring them apostate and a reprobate. That is exactly what happened to Servetus in Geneva over differences that most modern Christians would be hopeless in uncovering.

That's the reason I think we should be very careful with the word 'heresy' or we move back to the days where the focus is on the Inquisition instead of fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Anonymous said...

So, Cheryl, just curious, are you the husband of one wife or the wife of one wife?

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Anonymous,
Are you implying that only a lesbian could come to the conclusions she has reached?

Cheryl Schatz said...

Anon,

To answer your question, I will use scripture:

1Ti 3:11 Women must *likewise* be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

I am faithful in all things according to my husband. My husband is *likewise*.

Cheryl Schatz said...

greg w.h.

Great lesson for us all in Greek. I would add one additional thing that you missed - that "women *likewise*" must be taken into consider for the "tis" in verse one. We simply cannot disregard the women in the passage and "tis" them out of existence. If Paul had mentioned the women first would we disregard the men in this passage? I think not.

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

Parting shot:

one thing I find missing in this discussion was the question "How has the Church interpreted the gender role of the pastorate described in I Timothy 3:1-2 for the last 1900 years?". It would seem prudent to me that consistency of interpretation through church tradition be given some weight.

greg.w.h said...

Again, my Greek isn't solid enough to state this as clearly as I would like it to be, but it seems to me that the only antecedent is "man of one woman", not the "woman" in "man of one woman".

And the use of the word gunakais seems to prevent the "man" (aner) from becoming a woman since gune/gunakais seems to always have a definite sexual distinction of female which seems to force "aner" to a definite sexual distinction of male. I am interested in the notations you heard of, but I haven't ever heard of the reverse being true in either the Septuagint or in the New Testament. But others are full-time Greek scholars while I am a mere amateur.

Now I say all of that just so we'll read what Paul is thinking as clearly as we can. The stronger argument for allowing women to be pastors is found in Paul's repeated proclamation that in Christ there is "neither male nor female". And men and women of good conscience can stand on that proclamation--in my opinion--and remain in fellowship with those who take a more traditional view. The question is how much the traditionalists prize fellowship with "all of the redeemed" (BFM 2000 Article VI The Church) and how the Convention wishes that fellowship to be structured. At the very least, acknowledging that people of good conscience who treat the Bible as inerrant COULD adopt an egalitarian viewpoint--based on Paul's in Christ there is "neither male nor female"--would be a solid baseline for fellowship with "all of the redeemed."

That said, the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea--which set cement around most of the ideas we regard as "orthodox" today--was attended by historically 318 bishops who were, apparently, all male. And we have this gem as one of the Canons from that Council:

"Canon 3 The great Synod has stringently forbidden any bishop, presbyter, deacon, or any one of the clergy whatever, to have a subintroducta dwelling with him, except only a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion."

Neither the biblical record nor the church history precludes women in these roles. Paul also said that in Christ there is "neither male nor female", too. But the support for the traditional view that the leaders should be men is not weak.

One thing I noticed in researching this yesterday was the concept that one use of female elders and deacons was so that women could baptize women and girls while men baptizing men might also have been preferred in some regions.

That is an extremely modest and therefore conservative view on the closeness that is required to perform the ordinance of baptism. I am afraid it would be speculative to assume that John the Baptist or the apostles did something similar during the New Testament period in my opinion.

Greg Harvey

P.S. Feel free to call me Greg and I apologize for not posting my name earlier as a signature...hit go before it was ready!!

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

"How has the Church interpreted the gender role of the pastorate described in I Timothy 3:1-2 for the last 1900 years?".

Pastor Farmer,
i think it should be given considerable weight. In fact, I think it may be the best argument against it.

However, I think this is where the slavery comparison comes in. How opposed to slavery was the history of the church? Or is this just a case of a patristic society not recognizing the value of women? Or is it an example of the early church correctly not allowing women to teach men?

As we protestants like to say, tradition is valuable but not authoritative.

I agree though that it should not be taken lightly.

Anonymous said...

I hope I live to see the day Conservatives will admit women have a brain. I have heard some women preach better than some men.

Anonymous said...

I would never imply Cheryl is a lesbian. I don't even know her. I just find it very hard for a woman to be the husband of one wife or to be a man that desires the office of pastor. The likewise Paul refers to obviously is to the pastor's wife and in no way implies women should serve as pastors. It's interesting though that out of all the New Testament we don't find any women pastors, just an observation. If one wishes he or she may twist the Scriptures to read any way he/she likes. Maybe salvation was cultural limited only to the first century and the disciples. I hope not and don't believe that, but when we are allowed to interpret the Scriptures any way we like, we dangerously say what God never intended to say.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Anon,

The "likewise" for the women has nothing in the text that says "their" wives (possessive). It is not unreasonable at all that it would be leaders in the congregation who need to set an example. I just have never seen a check-list in scripture which qualifies you for a Pastor's wife. And if that were the case then why would Paul tie in all the characteristics of a mature leader "likewise" for the women?

"Likewise" is an equality word and does not limit the women to making the coffee.

In Titus 2:3, 4 the women are taking a leadership position guiding and teaching the young women and Paul uses "likewise" referencing the "older women" in the same manner as he instructs the "older men". Do we assume that "likewise" here means that these older women are only the wives of the men? No, not at all.

In Titus 2:6 the young men are mentioned after the young women (Titus 2:4) and the men are mentioned second and Paul also uses "likewise" for them. Are these men merely the husbands of the young women and the women are the leaders while the husbands are not? I don't think so.

Take a look at every passage where Paul says "likewise" hōsautōs. It is used by Paul to compare two things that are on the same level.

I think it would be fair to say that it is our prejudice that gives us glasses colored with tradition that reads "likewise" but substitutes an inferior "role". No my friend, "likewise" is equality not inferiority.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Anonymous,
Must a pastor also be a father? If their children must obey them it seems that men without children cannot be pastors.

Oh never mind. I'm done bringing up the same points over and over.

Cheryl, God bless you in your efforts.

Cheryl Schatz said...

Thank you David!

Kerygma said...

Wade, how is this different from Adrian Rogers' declaration that the battle in the SBC was not between conservatives and liberals but believers and unbelievers?

Melanie W said...

Pastor Farmer asked:
"How has the Church interpreted the gender role of the pastorate described in I Timothy 3:1-2 for the last 1900 years?".

I agree with Pastor Farmer and David that history and tradition are important and should be considered. However, I'm not sure I would be comfortable saying that church leaders for the last 1900 years got it right by not allowing women pastors.

After all, it wasn't until the late 20th century that England saw a female prime minister . . the US has yet to see a female president . . . there were not licensed female doctors until the 1860s in America . . . women didn't get the vote until 1920 in the US . . . women couldn't even ATTEND institutions of higher learning until the 1900s in many Western cultures. I could go on, but you get the point :)

And, in many cases the churches implicitly supported these positions. And yet, most of us would have a difficult time saying that the Bible supports that women shouldn't be doctors, prime ministers, etc.

I know this doesn't speak to the specific office of "pastor" in the Biblical passages, but I just don't think that church tradition should be considered a deal-maker on this issue. I think it is very possible that the overwhelming cultural bias against women in "unseemly positions" would have colored the early church leaders interpretation of these passages.

Greg - thanks so much for the excellent post on Greek grammar. It helped me immensely. And I didn't even blush once! =)

Blackhaw said...

Stephen,

The problem really is not what Wade meant but what he said. He needs to be more precise in his posts. Theology is much about saying precisely what should be said. If you do not then heresies come in. See the early fathers had to become more and more precise on how they spoke about God to rule out heretics. ETS and their problem with open theology and Pinnock is a good example of a group whose theological statement was wat too imprecise. They had to go back and change it so they could keep out heretics. If one wants to be a theologian then one has to learn more and more to be precise in their language about the important things especially. It is just the nature of the game.

greg.w.h said...

Melanie,

You're quite welcome. I will continue to note that most of the insight came from French (which is quite unlike Greek) and Russian (which has more similarities) because those were both at least classroom languages for me while all my Greek is self-taught. But native English speakers (especially us single-language Americans) usually struggle with the concept of grammatical gender at least at first.

Greg Harvey

P.S. I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, Blackhaw, while grieving over it at the same time. The simplicity of the Gospel should be able to stand on its original, very easy-to-understand theology as presented to us by Jesus himself. It is a shame that humanity insists on muddying those waters in such a way that simplicity is overwhelmed in the name of precision out of the necessity of preventing heresy.

Greg Harvey

Blackhaw said...

Greg,

I do not think simplicity is the opposite of precision. While it is tragic that we have heresies, I think a good that came out from them is that we have more precise theological language. I think the precision is good. Theological language can also be simnple and precise. We do see through a glass darkly in this world but we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and we should not be slack in our dillegence to study and show ourselves approved. The faith is cimple yet it is complex. It is a mystery and yet is clear. It is sometimes easy to understand but hard to explain.

Better theological training (even of laymen) in our churches is needed. I did not learn theology in church. I had to learn it at seminary. That is a shame. And my experience is very typical of SBC churches.

If we look back to the past fathers of the Christian faith Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Jesus, John, Paul, James, Augustine, Irenaeus, Athanasius, Gregory the Theologian, Cyril of Alexandrria, Gregory the Great, Aquinas, Bernard of Clairvaux, John of Damascus, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, John Knox, John Owen,the Wesley brothers Johnathan Edwards, C.S. Lewis, Karl Barth, and many many more they all spoke ekoquently about the Trinity and theology. They tried to be precise yet often simple. Basically they tried to tell others the truth about God. That was one of their major goals.

Bryan Riley said...

I wish this weren't so late in the cycle because it should be required reading in connection with this post. It is a related, excellent post on "Dropping the H Bomb" by Alan Knox.

greg.w.h said...

BH:

I guess the point I'm trying to make looks like this:

Compare The Apostle's Creed or the Nicean Creed to the Second London, the New Hamphshire Confessions, or any of the three versions of the BF&M. Why the expansion in words?

Are we REALLY that much more in tune with the central message of the Gospel just because it takes more words to clearly define our theological positions?

Greg Harvey

P.S. And it leads to this problem as explained in the Alan Knox post:

When Person A calls Person B a "heretic" for a teaching that Person A disagrees with, but which is not contrary to the gospel, and when Person A refuses to fellowship with Person B because of that teaching, then, according to Scripture, Person A is actually the "heretic". Person A is the one causing division among the followers of Christ and is thus promoting true heresy.

So, let's be careful, thoughtful, and prayerful before we drop the "H" Bomb. It could be that we are the true "heretics", not necessarily because our opinion is "wrong", but because our words and actions are divisive - and this is the type of heresy that Scripture warns us about